single review ~ 'sleep tonight' ~ shadow police

Name: Shadow Police
Genre: Synth-Pop
For Fans Of: New Order, Ghost Of An American Airman, CHVRCHES 
Location: Belfast

In case you didn’t know, the 80’s are back, and Shadow Police are here to proclaim it. The decade once associated with cheesy pop and bad taste has now become a fertile plain of influence for producers of all things synth. Arguably the seeds were sown by M83’s 2011 release Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, alongside the Drive soundtrack, and this is where Shadow Police’s influences certainly lie.

The emotive, string-like synths (or are they horn-like?), arpeggiated chords, echo-laden vocals, gated snares, and Europe-meets-America outlook of the resurgent synthpop are all on show, as well as some slick production. The vocals on this track are a particular highlight, often unintelligible, as they echo off into space, only to be answered by soaring synths, it works well. The shimmering synth in the latter half of the track is another personal favourite moment, and I feel really highlights the clever production. The treatment of the bass and drums on the other hand falls a little flat. Mostly unchanging throughout the song, they feel too static, a little boring. The bass however does sound good, all of the synths sound good, which in itself is an accomplishment.

All of this combines to produce something that could easily pass as a B-side for M83. But that is precisely my only major gripe. All the elements come together well, but if a greater spark remains to be lit by Shadow Police, you feel that will only come with time; provided they go out and grab it.

With strong production and equally strong vocals, this is a promising debut from Shadow Police, and I look forward to seeing what comes next.  

Andrew Burns


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